Specimen procurement

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The University of Minnesota Biorepository and Laboratory Services (BioNet)

Facilities and services

BLS (BioNet) serves the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center (AHC) as a centralized biorepository and bioregistry for patient consent and for the collection, processing, and distribution of de-identified tissue samples, blood and body fluids, purified DNA and specimen-matched clinical data for research.

BLS (BioNet) is becoming a major translational research resource linking clinical medicine, pathology, and basic and applied research to facilitate high quality and cost-conscious clinical and translational research.

BLS (BioNet) leverages the strengths of the Cancer Center's Tissue Procurement Facility (TPF), which has become part of BLS (BioNet). BLS (BioNet) currently provides:

  1. an optimized consenting process,
  2. collection of tissue, blood, and fluid samples,
  3. computerized specimen tracking systems that link specimens to clinical data and other databases,
  4. addition of core pathologist-supported facilities for histologic interpretation, immunohistochemistry, laser capture microdissection, and slide digitalization.

Close relationships have been developed with the University of Minnesota Genomics Center to offer researchers seamless access to DNA purification from specimens, and the Masonic Cancer Center's Translational Therapy core facility for seamless access to PBMC purification and cell cryopreservation from blood specimens. By special arrangement, Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)-transformed lymphoblastoid lines may be made from cryopreserved PBMCs using a commercial vendor.

Divisions of BLS (BioNet) include the Tissue Procurement Facility, the Histology and Immunohistochemistry Laboratory, and the Digital Imaging Facility.

BLS (BioNet) is a UMN Internal and External Service Organization.